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How do you conduct a cloud disaster recovery test?

How do you test a DR plan if you're using a cloud-based disaster recovery service? How do you know it's going to work for you?

As with any DR product, there is no substitute for testing it. It depends how aggressive you want to be, but I'm...

into simply pulling the plug on a server and seeing if it fails over. Simulate the disaster as well as you can, and see how long it takes to get the application up and running in the cloud.

The best case is to take more of a high-availability (HA) approach where you have multiple physical hosts that can serve that workload. There are few companies that are experimenting with cloud and physical-based HA schemes, but I would say it is more likely that you'd simply build an HA application in the cloud and have the primary and the secondary copies living there.

Most clouds are designed with a scale-out methodology, so if any server fails or any component fails, it picks up where it left off on a different machine.

As companies get more familiar with HA and cloud-based HA schemes, I think we'll see some of the traditional DR methodologies go away. I think we'll see more of a cluster-based HA scheme.

Next Steps

How you should conduct a DR test

Why DR tests are important

Traditional DR test models have outgrown their usefulness

Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery services - outsourcing

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Don't forget to test what happens if the *cloud* fails. After some of the weather-related Amazon failures of a couple of years ago, it's a bad idea to have any single point of failure.
When using cloud based high availability you also have to pick a location for your cloud service provider outside of your physical geographic region.
This article highlights something that may seem obvious but I have seen so many organisations spend good money on something they don't really know will work! DR testing should be something that can be done frequently and with or without impacting the production environment.
Not mentioned is the fact that most so called DR products never account for testing frequently. Great you have a plan but if the testing fails or is only completed bi-annually what then.